Search found 433 matches

by Quidnam
Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to SS regulations in new funding bill...
Replies: 154
Views: 14088

Re: Changes to SS regulations in new funding bill...

Kotlikoff is the senior author of a book entitled (pun intentional) Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security , and has been extraordinarily shrill in the past, in his columns, about any behavior on the part of SSA that impairs the effectiveness of any technique he's been rec...
by Quidnam
Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone contribute the full amount ($10K in NY) in their child's 529?
Replies: 10
Views: 1350

Re: Does anyone contribute the full amount ($10K in NY) in their child's 529?

I'm in for $10K this year (have 8 month old son). If anything I'm looking to designate savings of more than that for him, so for me the question is whether to contribute further to the 529, start a UGMA (for another $18K per year), or just keep it in taxable. I'm somewhat disinclined to contribute m...
by Quidnam
Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard Flagship Services
Replies: 10
Views: 2280

Re: Question about Vanguard Flagship Services

ntb712 wrote:I recently gained access to Vanguard Flagship Services even though I do not meet the minimum $1MM investment amount.
So how exactly did you get this exception?
by Quidnam
Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too many credit cards?
Replies: 46
Views: 5345

Re: "Simplify. Simplify."

"Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -- Henry David Thoreau My wife and I have mostly followed this maxim. When we were in the earlier stages of building our credit, we each maintained three credit card accounts (for me that was a reduction, for her an increase). Some ten y...
by Quidnam
Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA vs Amica homeowner, auto and umbrella
Replies: 4
Views: 1306

Re: AAA vs Amica homeowner, auto and umbrella

Just a quick note that this isn't exactly apples-to-apples -- Amica is an actual insurance company, whereas AAA is basically acting as an insurance agent to sell you policies from a number of different carriers (presumably this is why you couldn't find a rating for AAA). When it comes to Amica, you ...
by Quidnam
Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard muni bond index fund and ETF available
Replies: 20
Views: 4957

Re: Vanguard muni bond index fund and ETF available

Thanks for linking to information about the new Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund. As this is a first for Vanguard, one question in my mind is "how desirable is indexing for municipal bonds?" I'm not likely to switch my own muni holdings to a national fund due to the effect of state taxation, but ...
by Quidnam
Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life- How Much To Get and For How Many Years?
Replies: 29
Views: 4319

Re: Term Life- How Much To Get and For How Many Years?

TNL wrote:I remarried in 2013 at age 39. New spouse was 36. ... We are working slowly-toward self-insuring and should be set at the expiration of the 20 year term (when I am 59 and current spouse is 36).
Laddering spouses... I like it! :wink:
by Quidnam
Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to allocate bonus from work
Replies: 23
Views: 4098

Re: Where to allocate bonus from work

i contribute 8% roth to the 401k You might want to reassess whether Roth or pretax contributions make the most sense for you. Generally speaking I think Roth treatment in a 401(k) makes the most sense for people who can max out the annual contribution, and then still have the latitude to pay more t...
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Percent Of Your Annual Expenses Are Property Taxes?
Replies: 101
Views: 9711

Re: What Percent Of Your Annual Expenses Are Property Taxes?

About 0.65% of expenses -- we've got a 25-year "421-a" tax abatement on a condo in the city. Rest assured they make up for it with state/local income taxation.
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online shopping account hacked
Replies: 22
Views: 5183

Re: Online shopping account hacked

Yesterday, I learned my Walmart.com account was hacked and the hackers proceeded to order electronics using my account. To echo nordlead, if you reuse passwords online, the odds are very good that the security of Walmart.com was not "hacked" at all -- i.e., your login credentials were compromised e...
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica Insurance
Replies: 37
Views: 7020

Re: Amica Insurance

gloomydog wrote:After that, we had a good, smug, brunch buffet to celebrate our mature handling of the situation. Driving out of the parking lot that day, husband did not look LEFT before making a RIGHT turn, and got hit by the incoming car.
See, insured drivers really are more careless! :wink:
by Quidnam
Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $1M house?
Replies: 82
Views: 16756

Re: Can I afford a $1M house?

That is not correct. She did not receive any money from her trust until about 5 years ago. And, also for the record, my inheritance will be larger than hers. Therefore, she has the sugar daddy, not the other way around. Regardless of who is supplying the sugar to whom, you've more than confirmed th...
by Quidnam
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $1M house?
Replies: 82
Views: 16756

Re: Can I afford a $1M house?

Yes, in this area, to be in the best school district (and for a good commute), $1M doesn't get you all that much - although not nearly as bad as the Bay Area. $1M in the best areas can get you 4 bedrooms, maybe 3000-4000 square feet, and likely not very updated. To be clear, are you in the target s...
by Quidnam
Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amica discounts available
Replies: 26
Views: 6149

Re: New Amica discounts available

You should have them give you some quotes and see for yourself, but in my experience, the dividend policies come out to being slightly cheaper than the equivalent non-dividend policies after you factor in the anticipated dividends (which, like most things in life, are not 100% guaranteed).
by Quidnam
Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amica discounts available
Replies: 26
Views: 6149

Re: New Amica discounts available

Essentially, you can look at the quoted price for the dividend policy and anticipate getting 20% of that back at the end of the year:
http://www.amica.com/products/dividend.html
by Quidnam
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proper Way To Wear Suspenders
Replies: 29
Views: 4425

Re: Proper Way To Wear Suspenders

The GQ Style Guy puts it best: “Whenever I see a man wearing a belt and suspenders, which is not all that often, I think, Now, here is a pessimist. Guys who wear a belt and suspenders probably carry umbrellas on sunny days and [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] . And on this forum, he's in at least 80% b...
by Quidnam
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Changing cost basis from Average Cost to Specific ID
Replies: 33
Views: 4990

Re: Changing cost basis from Average Cost to Specific ID

You had an average basis. Every share had that same basis. You switched to Spec ID. The basis of those share "remains the same as the basis immediately before the change." If the basis of all those shares was $25.62 when you were using average, then the basis of all those shares is now $25.62 after...
by Quidnam
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Changing cost basis from Average Cost to Specific ID
Replies: 33
Views: 4990

Re: Changing cost basis from Average Cost to Specific ID

As it happens, this example is not a hypothetical one for me. I have a bond fund into which I have made a series of investments, all of which were during the new IRS regime of "covered shares." Average cost basis was selected. Yesterday I switched the fund from average basis to specific ID. The chan...
by Quidnam
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Credit Score
Replies: 19
Views: 9744

Re: Tracking Credit Score

As of this week, there's a new beta feature on Credit Karma that let's you review your actual credit report as well. You can look at it weekly. They must be making tons of money from their very obnoxious advertising. Thanks for the pointer -- I didn't notice the new feature even though I had just l...
by Quidnam
Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 70
Views: 7469

Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

I know couples who have moved just to get the $500K capital gain tax-free. If they stayed and had a bigger gain, they would own taxes when they sold it. Talk about letting the tax tail wag the "investment" dog... If they somehow know they're going to have a total gain of say, $800K in a few more ye...
by Quidnam
Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 3533

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

A good starting point would be which one is more appealing to you. I see no reason to expect that your preference will be significantly idiosyncratic -- and the way you lay it out, it's hard to see why anybody would pick #2 (all else being equal).
by Quidnam
Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT article on sequence of returns risk
Replies: 6
Views: 1738

Re: NYT article on sequence of returns risk

Mr. Irwin has posted a follow-up article in the same NYT blog, this time using historical data: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/upshot/in-investing-when-matters-just-as-much-as-what.html The result is more realistic than the original thought experiment linked above, but I think it still suffers fr...
by Quidnam
Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing apportionment]
Replies: 77
Views: 8788

Re: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse

Get a divorce and continue to live happily together. If one were to ignore restrictions imposed by cultures and emotions, this is actually the best strategy given our current tax code. I do not know of any couples using this strategy, but there must be some out there. In all seriousness, why couldn...
by Quidnam
Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving for Basement Finish
Replies: 16
Views: 1851

Re: Saving for Basement Finish

At that rate I'd definitely go with the HELOC option and finish the project sooner rather than later.
by Quidnam
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Corporate governance of Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 1340

Re: Corporate governance of Vanguard

Vanguard's board of directors also serves as trustees of each individual fund, and are thus ultimately responsible for the governance of the Vanguard Group. It is notable that Vanguard's board consists of 11 directors, 10 of whom are independent directors with no affiliation with Vanguard or the fun...
by Quidnam
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ways to lose money and destroy personal wealth by investing
Replies: 81
Views: 11758

Re: Ways to lose money and destroy personal wealth by invest

I think there's something I am missing in that?. You mean a fund that pays out a higher dividend than it actually generates a return? Ie capital depreciating? I'm guessing what laughlinlvr intended would have been more clearly written as: "Invest in a high-cost mutual fund on the principle that it ...
by Quidnam
Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle maxing a 401k with unknown bonus amount
Replies: 9
Views: 1678

Re: How to handle maxing a 401k with unknown bonus amount

My company does not move any money (either mine or matching) to my 401k from bonus checks. Perhaps her company does the same. Same here -- so I wouldn't assume that any deductions (other than federal, state and local income tax withholding at the flat bonus rate) are going to be taken from a bonus ...
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?
Replies: 30
Views: 2298

Re: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?

How do you have DD your paycheck to the fund not to the the money market account? I didn't know it was an option. My current set up is paycheck DD to checking account, VG automatically invests on the same day (but actually debits 4 days later). I would leave it the way you have it, if I were you. D...
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?
Replies: 30
Views: 2298

Re: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?

My wife and I each have an auto-investment process set up that automatically transfers ~50% of our net pay into Vanguard as soon as it hits our bank account. And once it's at Vanguard, we're more resistant to taking it back out again. An auto-exchange process from Prime MM automatically DCAs the sam...
by Quidnam
Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett chooses S&P 500
Replies: 16
Views: 4665

Re: Buffett chooses S&P 500

I think he's using the term in a manner that is effectively interchangeable with "U.S. stock market." The old guard have gone through decades in the financial markets when the Vanguard 500 index fund was almost the only game in town, so this too sort of became synonymous with the entire approach of ...
by Quidnam
Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Insurance For Non Car Owner
Replies: 6
Views: 1069

Re: Car Insurance For Non Car Owner

Search the forum for "non-owner's auto policy" and you'll see that others have gotten such coverage. Your friend may consider it expensive to buy, depending on how frequently he is renting and/or borrowing a car, but it should definitely be available to him. It may be that your friend is someone for...
by Quidnam
Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 years
Replies: 38
Views: 5773

Re: Investors hold the lowest percentage of stocks in 50 yea

I would suggest that the AAII asset allocation survey is more meaningful. And it shows that the average stock allocation is above the long term average of 60% (not surprising since stocks have gained a lot recently and not everyone rebalances). Agreed. The linked article and many commenters here ar...
by Quidnam
Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card to pay mortgage
Replies: 29
Views: 5897

Re: Credit card to pay mortgage

Chase sent me a promo check with 0% interest for a year and 1% fee to use it on one of my CC with credit line of $35k. Are you sure you received rewards when using the check? You wouldn't receive rewards from this kind of arrangement since it would not be counted as a purchase. In this instance, th...
by Quidnam
Thu May 29, 2014 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card "payment networks"--how many are there, e.g Amex
Replies: 18
Views: 3893

Re: Credit card "payment networks"--how many are there, e.g

Per Wikipedia : A card association is a network of issuing banks and acquiring banks that process payment cards of a specific brand. Familiar payment card association brands include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club, and JCB. In addition to those referenced above, China's U...
by Quidnam
Fri May 23, 2014 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 400
Views: 83404

Re: VBS upgrade roll out has started

For anybody who's interested, I just spoke with Vanguard and was advised that my accounts are not eligible for the upgrade because I use automatic exchanges. The rep said they do expect to implement this feature (probably later this year), and that they will advise when the eligibility status changes.
by Quidnam
Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to avoid large state tax refund?
Replies: 13
Views: 2834

Re: Any way to avoid large state tax refund?

So I think the path of least resistance is to just live with the refund every year and remember to pay special attention to computing the taxable portion of my state refund. That's definitely the path of least resistance, but I don't think you should necessarily shy away from filing an IT-2104 that...
by Quidnam
Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card
Replies: 10
Views: 2104

Re: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card

This blogger has an even more interesting take -- purchasing cash-back offer gift cards with cash back credit cards to stack rewards: http://www.mydollarplan.com/how-to-earn-cash-back-paying-your-taxes/ I feel exhausted just glancing at that. The lengths that people will go to in order to engineer ...
by Quidnam
Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What "annual" retirement income are you hoping to achieve?
Replies: 70
Views: 6316

Re: What "annual" retirement income are you hoping to achiev

$200k a year is the top 10% of the country... top 1%-2% of the world. One has to be truly out of touch to think they are "middle-class" with that kind of income. Wage earners (who are axiomatically not rich) cannot earn their money just anywhere (unlike actual rich people). They have to live in pro...
by Quidnam
Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 6891

Re: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

If this were such a slam dunk, why would someone lend you money at 2.5% rather than just invest their money in bonds or equities themselves? Part of the reason could be that the availability of capital in the mortgage market is effectively subsidized, and that without the GSEs standing ready to pur...
by Quidnam
Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What If Long-Term Thinking Really Catches On?
Replies: 21
Views: 2801

Re: What If Long-Term Thinking Really Catches On?

If long-term thinking truly caught on, we could raise capital for interstellar exploration missions and the terraforming of planetary bodies in the solar system...

As it stands, we'll have to settle for whatever Elon Musk can pull off before he dies. :happy
by Quidnam
Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth - why does it make me feel dirty?
Replies: 23
Views: 3540

Re: Backdoor Roth - why does it make me feel dirty?

Just call it a Roth conversion -- because that's all it is.
by Quidnam
Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low-flow shower head: $4,500 saved in last 5 yrs
Replies: 35
Views: 5879

Re: Low-flow shower head: $4,500 saved in last 5 yrs

papito23 wrote:I stumbled upon this by calculating the benefit of washing out old Ziploc bags
If you're frugal enough to wash out old ziploc bags, then you're frugal enough to switch to cold showers (with health benefits, to boot).
by Quidnam
Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee
Replies: 61
Views: 144602

Re: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee

The BofA Travel Rewards card is in this category. No FTF, no annual fee, and EMV support (chip & signature). The rewards program is mediocre but not terrible.
by Quidnam
Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What video games are you currently playing?
Replies: 220
Views: 23211

Re: What video games are you currently playing?

I recently completed a full playthrough of the Mass Effect trilogy, start to finish (I had probably been working on it for the better part of the past year, in what free time I have). I'm currently playing The Witcher, an RPG series that I had unfortunately overlooked. I've almost completed the firs...
by Quidnam
Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get ready for the Dow at 6,000 by 2016: Pro
Replies: 46
Views: 7515

Re: Get ready for the Dow at 6,000 by 2016: Pro

Am I the only person here who had to look up the current value of the Dow Jones index in order to judge whether this would represent an increase or a decrease?

Pretty good sign that my efforts to tune out the "noise" have been successful...
by Quidnam
Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trading Authorization on Wife's Account?
Replies: 40
Views: 3303

Re: Trading Authorization on Wife's Account?

It's not something that we ever considered to be necessary in our case. "Trading" in our IRAs typically consists of two transactions per person per year: 1) a non-deductible contribution, followed by 2) a conversion to Roth. Since I handle these transactions for both of us, when I need to transact f...
by Quidnam
Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What credit cards do you recommend?
Replies: 85
Views: 39754

Re: What credit cards do you recommend?

thanks for the explanation on the blue cash cards, fedguy. I have the original one but don't see the value in it. I have to spend over $6000 per year before I start making real credit and that is too much at low rewards when I could be churning and getting 50k points. Can anyone point out logic for...
by Quidnam
Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying shoes at COSTCO
Replies: 14
Views: 14380

Re: Buying shoes at COSTCO

When I looked at the COSTCO generic sport shoes I was really impressed with how "generic" they were. I'm at a point in life where brand names don't really mean much to me (and much of the time they represent a negative to me) and I'm genuinely impressed with how good so much of the COSTCO private l...
by Quidnam
Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you invest money w/o a specific purpose?
Replies: 17
Views: 2642

Re: How do you invest money w/o a specific purpose?

Since you have a large taxable account, you might be a good candidate to use this idea. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Placing_cash_needs_in_a_tax-advantaged_account I'm not sure I'd recommend following the ideas described in that article. Once upon a time (i.e., when "a typical money market fund y...
by Quidnam
Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VG teams up with HelloWalle​t
Replies: 24
Views: 3560

Re: VG teams up with HelloWalle​t

JamesSFO wrote:My big gripe with Mint is that for an investment (say VG Total Stock) I cannot easily see how many shares I own + cost basis.
Yodlee will display the number of shares and the price, but no cost basis information. For that you'll still need to log into Vanguard.